Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7593 / Eimi

Posted by Gaufrid on February 16th, 2011


There must be some special occasion today for Dac to be ousted from his regular Wednesday slot.

There is! Today is the 90th birthday of The Reverend John Galbraith Graham MBE aka Araucaria in the Guardian and Cinephile in the FT. As befits this doyen of setters, Eimi has marked the anniversary with a themed puzzle, and it is a pangram to boot.

Compared with some Indy puzzles (eg Nimrod), I found this relatively easy and was helped by the fact that the less familiar answers were clued with anagrams, or hidden in the case of 22ac.  My pick of the day has to be the &lit at 16dn.

All that remains for me to say is:

6 out of 7 dwarfs are not gay (5)
John perhaps having hard time on this occasion (8)
Churchman harmed engraver? Poppycock! (8,6)

May you continue to provide us with cruciverbal enjoyment for many years to come.

8 URBANE UR (texting your) BANE (source of misery)
9 ONE-LINER pun & def.
10 QUAGMIRE AGM (meeting) in QUIRE (a lot of paper)
11 DAMSON DAM (mother) SON (child)
12 BAEDEKER RAIDS *(BEARDED KAISER) – this blitzkrieg.
15 NINETY NIN (erotic writer) [s]E[x] T[o]Y – Anaïs Nin.
17 GRAHAM GRA[nt]HAM (removing books from Margaret Thatcher’s home)
22 ZYDECO hidden in ‘laZY DECOrators’ – “a type of accordion-based popular dance music originating in Louisiana and partaking of French, Caribbean and blues influences” (Chambers).
23 FORGOING O (ring) in FORGING (counterfeiting)
25 PRAISE BE *(SERBIA) in PE (exercises)
26 SEDATE DAT[e] (appointment cut short) in SEE (diocese)
1 ARAUCARIA AU (gold) CAR (vehicle) in ARIA (song)
2 JAGGED             pun & def.
3 YETI        YET (still) I (one)
4 TONE ARM         NEAR (close) in TOM (a man)
6 VIA MEDIA          *(ME A DIVA I) – the translation from Latin means ‘a middle course’.
7 XENON NON EX (current partner) reversed
13 KEYSTROKES STROKE (light touch) in KEYS (sexist football presenter) – a reference to the recent resignation of Richard Keys.
18 WILFRED            LF (line feed) in WIRED (edgy)
20 ISOLDE I SOLD E (admission of past drug-dealing)
21 LYCRA                hidden in ‘haseLY CRAwford’
24 RASH double def.

25 Responses to “Independent 7593 / Eimi”

  1. Bannsider says:

    Probably a special message wishing Arsenal all the best for their game with Barcelona tonight :-)

  2. Andrew says:

    Thanks Gaufrid – this was a nice puzzle for the special occasion, also marked in the FT and (of course) the Guardian. 16dn is hilarious.

    There was also a special finishing bonus for online solvers..

  3. Eileen says:

    Many thanks, Gaufrid – and great cluing!

    And thanks to Eimi for an enjoyable puzzle. [It’s really nice to see the occasion marked in the other papers.]

    I, too, thought the ‘wee small hours’ clue was the best!

  4. Andrew says:

    PS you have a typo in the answer to 12ac.

  5. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Andrew, now corrected. I don’t know how that extra C got there, a senior moment probably.

  6. eimi says:

    Although the online solvers get the bonus of a message for finishing, the dead tree solvers have the benefit of a jigsaw to complete. This wasn’t possible to reproduce in the online version, but it was Araucaria’s alphabetical jigsaws that first inspired my love of crosswords, so I wanted to mark his 90th birthday with one of his trademark puzzles – which accounts for the online puzzle being pangrammatic.

  7. scchua says:

    Thanks Gaufrid, and Eimi for a nice puzzle, and of course best wishes to Araucaria, one of the setters on whom I cut my cryptic crossword teeth (the Monkey Puzzle books).

    After the horrors of yesterday’s puzzle, this was most enjoyable. As usual with Eimi, I learned a couple of new words: BAEDEKER and ENURESIS which I got from the wordplay (realisation of the definition only came after, as I was misled by “disturbed” doubling up as anagrind and definitional part), and which turned out to be the best clue of the lot.

    Other favourites were 10A QUAGMIRE, and 20D ISOLDE, a nicely concise clue.

  8. scchua says:

    Hi eimi@6 Yes pity about that, I would have easily traded the bonus message for the jigsaw, one of my favourite crossword devices to solve. I wonder why the crossword programme developers aren’t able to switch off certain features, to allow a jigsaw crossword to be online.

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Gaufrid.

    After last night’s events in Milano, eimi won’t need cheering up or bigging up, but this was an enjoyable puzzle and a lovely tribute. As others have said, 16dn is priceless, but I also liked XENON and the contemporary KEYSTROKES. Good range of subjects in the clues as always.

    Btw, Gaufrid, language evolves: the phrase ‘senior moment’ has now been superseded by ‘CRAFT moment’. I have them regularly.

  10. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Eimi
    Thanks for the elucidation. I thought the thematic material was a little sparce but that is now explained by it being an alphabetical jigsaw. It is a pity that you weren’t able to provide the original on-line since, like you, I enjoy the jigsaws. At least I had the pleasure of the one in the FT.

  11. flashling says:

    Having just done the jigsaw – as Eimi says an Auracaria speciality – it was obvious from the moment I saw it what is was. Much fun and a nice tribute to the master setter. Thanks for the blog Gaufrid and Eimi for a super puzzle.

  12. nmsindy says:

    Very pleasing puzzle with the alphabetical jigsaw a very appropriate way to mark a v special occasion indeed as these are so closely associated with Araucaria, to who I add my best wishes on such a landmark day. My favourite clues were XENON and YETI. Not too difficult a puzzle, thanks, Eimi, and Gaufrid for the blog.

  13. walruss says:

    Lovely stuff, and I did not think the Independent would be left wanting in the ‘competition’ to make a tribute to Monkey-Man. great.

  14. envirochris says:

    Thank you Eimi. For me, the most enjoyable crossword of the year so far.

  15. uncle yap says:

    eimi, definitely one of your best efforts and a fitting tribute to The Master. Like many people, I thought very highly of 16D and think it will become a classic.

  16. Allan_C says:

    Thanks, eimi. A long time since I’ve encountered an alphabetical jigsaw. This turned out to be a fairly easy solve since “A” was obviously ARAUCARIA and “B” obviously BAEDEKER RAIDS. The latter had to go in at either 12a or 19a and at 19a would have made 20d start with an A, which clearly it couldn’t. “I” held me up a bit thinking it was something inside IDA (eponymous princess in a G&S opera) but otherwise straightforward enough.

  17. Bannsider says:

    A v. fitting tribute.
    I;m still looking for the message though :-)

  18. Allan_C says:

    Bannsider, do you mean the message at the end of Gaufrid’s preamble? It’s a greeting to the person most concerned with the celebration. I can’t help with eimi’s online one, though, as I did the dead tree version.

  19. eimi says:

    Thanks to all for the kind comments – especially that of envirochris which made my day :-) – and to Gaufrid for the blog.

  20. beermagnet says:

    Oooh. I wish I’d been tipped the wink to do this as an Alpha-jig in the paper.
    I did it online and noticed it was pangrammatic, but didn’t notice the different start letters on each answer.
    During the solve I thought it was pitched slightly easier and put that down to Eimi’s desire for solvers to see the tribute rather than not.
    Very enjoyable nonetheless.

  21. Tramp says:

    A wonderful tribute to the great man. I’m so glad I bought the paper that day.

  22. Bannsider says:

    “Bannsider, do you mean the message at the end of Gaufrid’s preamble? It’s a greeting to the person most concerned with the celebration. I can’t help with eimi’s online one, though, as I did the dead tree version.”

    No, it was a reference to my initial little joke at the beginning!

  23. Sil van den Hoek says:

    The Party’s Over.
    I only finished this crossword just now, luckily using the dead tree version.
    Very nice tribute to the man who fully deserved to be at the centre of attention this week.
    I had hoped for a nina too, but that would have been a bit too much – certainly given the fact that all the letters in the first row were [had to be] different.

    Belated thanks, eimi, for a fine puzzle.
    Not too hard, which I think was good, giving as many people as possible the opportunity to share the fun.

    My Clue of the Day was D/11ac (DAMSON).
    The use of existing names etc, like a pop song here, is just right up my street. Very clever.

  24. Suz says:

    What was the online finishing bonus? Have only just got round to doing this, on paper…

  25. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Suz
    The message that was displayed when completing the puzzle on-line was:

    Congratulations, you have completed the puzzle!
    Congratulations too to the Rev 17A, or 1D, who is 15A today!

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